Learn more about the most up-to-date information and research on our 2021 edition of the National Footprint Accounts launch webinar. On this page you will find a selection of our public projects, presentations, and non-academic publications.
Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity in action
A key value of the York Footprint Team is the usability of the Footprint Data with practitioners, policymakers, and the public. Every year we launch the national accounts and look at the kind of research projects that need to be done to meet the needs of the public. In 2021, we conducted research with the public to ascertain how people want to use the Footprint data and adapted the data to sub-national levels.
Knowledge Synthesis Report
In assessing the supply and demand of Ecological Footprint Research we found that academic and global research continues to grow, demonstrating sustained applicability and broad demand for Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity data. We found comparatively little uptake in Canada, even though there has been – and remains – significant Canadian research and scholarship. We provide these findings in our synthesis report and are now mobilizing awareness of the work and developing a research program based on the outcomes. Read the report and more.
View our presentation on the outcomes of this research:
In the news
These novel usages and our commitment to bridging the gap between theory and practice result in significant public interest and uptake in the accounts.
York Region: Building new GTA highways in time of climate change: ‘old fashioned’ thinking or a critical need?
Building New GTA highways in time of climate change In February, the United Nations issued a major report designed to guide world leaders in their efforts to curb climate change. The report drew imagery of a hungrier, perilous world in the next 18 years with an “unavoidable” increase in risks, but noted the worst effects of climate change can still be mitigated. However, Premier Doug Ford announced a 30-year transportation plan, spotlighting two highways seen by many as endangering the environment. The transportation plan backs Highway 413 — initially estimated to cost at least $6 billion. This highway will not only go through the Greenbelt, but is expected to destroy a combined 5.95 km of forests....Read the full story.
Alternatives Journal: Research Update
Researching Canada's Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity An initiative at York University is measuring how humanity’s consumption of renewable resources has changed over the last 50 years – since the first Earth Day in 1970. Research out of York’s Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI) in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, involves faculty, staff and
students, to bridge the gap between government and the academy to create useful policy to change the way humans use the Earth’s resources and the planet’s capacity to provide them...
Read the full story.
Earth Overshoot Day Coverage
Humans used up the earth’s available renewable resources for the year by July 29 Humanity used more ecological resources in 2021 than the earth could regenerate in one year by July 29, according to international research organization Global Footprint Network.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the day on which demand for the planet’s renewable resources outpaced the rate in which they could regenerate. In Canada, meanwhile, consumption of these resources is moving at a “disproportionate” rate, one environment expert told the Star... Read the full story.
We cannot sustain life, or do business, on a dead planet
As people ponder our current situation, and question how we got here, we increasingly get asked the question “is this nature fighting back at us?” It is a good question. There is not, of course, any sentient being called “nature,” but there is a biosphere upon which we depend for our very existence that has been abused to a staggering degree as human “development” has “progressed,” fixated on relentless growth. Maybe COVID-19 is just the latest in a series of metaphorical warning shots that things are running out of control... Read the full story.
Measuring What Matters
The most-used measure of a country’s progress is its gross domestic product (GDP) — the value of the goods and services produced over a period of time, such as a year. A huge drawback of GDP, however, is that it does not fully reflect things like the country’s standard of living or income distribution. Just because a country’s GDP is high does not mean that all, or even most, of the population is doing well... Read the full story.
Measuring and managing Canada's use of the Earth's regenerative carrying capacity
The Canadian and global challenge of living within the Earth's carrying capacity requires robust measures of this capacity and its use by humans to meaningfully inform policy. Currently, Canada does not employ any such accounting system to monitor transition towards a carbon neutral future. Various measures and measurement systems are used to quantify carrying capacity and its use by humans, with the most comprehensive being Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity... Read the full story.
We also bring the Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity accounts to educational and informational seminars online.
Scholar's Hub at York University
Ecological Footprint Research Online with the University of Vermont and McGill University